I "like" Lilly Pulitzer on facebook. I "like" Lilly in real life, too, but my wide hips and thin bank account prevent us from being friends. I get daily updates from Lilly, living vicariously through the pretty, shiny, well-groomed girls who post pictures of themselves clad in the crisp cotton Easter egg hued garments. They go to the races, they go to country clubs, they attend tea parties. There are pictures of their offspring, dressed in shrinky-dink versions of mommy's dresses. Adorable, one and all. I really mean it.
The other day the Lilly facebook page ran a secret sale, available only online, only for friends of Lilly. Apparently their server couldn't handle the onslaught of charge card wielding Lilly-istas. There were hundreds of comments, angry exclamations of despair and woe..."I can't get to the check out page!" "Grrr Lilly, get with it!" "I had the cutest tote in my cart and when I checked out it was gone!!!!!". You know, fire and brimstone kind of stuff.
Yeah, I sat there and read it. Why? I don't know. Well, yes, I guess I do know. I am amused by seeing what pisses other people off. Yes, I'm immature. But it's fascinating to me, to see what qualifies as stress in someone's life. There were women who were beside themselves with rage over their inability to purchase Lilly stuff.
Yes, I know, it's all relative. To the chick in Atlanta, who has the means and the body and the social life required to don Lilly, it most likely was a traumatic day. I get it.
But then, as I clicked over to Comcast to check my email, I read something different.
A 29 year old woman in South Carolina had confessed to smothering her two babies, putting their bodies in the backseat of her car and then letting her car submerge into a river.
I thought about it. Thought about it all day long, in fact. Still thinking about it today, 24 hours later. I can't get it out of my head, all of it. I have images in my head, short reels of film showing a mom bent over a baby, hand clasped over the little nose and mouth as the child fights to breathe. Did she make eye contact with her son? Did she cry? What did she do with the other one while she did it? I pray to whatever entity is listening that she did it in another room, away from the one who still slept or sat up on a bed wondering where Mommy took his brother. I cried, thinking of what it must feel like when a mother snaps. Was it a sudden thing, like one day you're fine...stressed out, sure, but ok...and then *boom* you kill your kid? Or was it like a tiny star-shaped crack in a windshield, hardly noticeable at first but it slowly stretches and threads out, dividing what was once whole into a jagged, crooked maze of splintered glass?
I thought about how it must have felt to this woman, once her head cleared and she found herself in a room with two motionless toddlers. Did she have a sudden moment of clarity, where it dawned on her, "Oh my God, I killed my kids?" or had the veil of insanity already blinded her?
We'll most likely never know. She'll have her trial, go to jail or some institution. People will leave stuffed animals and toys and flowers at the spot where she watched her car roll into the river, a big metal coffin holding two innocents.
It's already on page 2 of today's news clips.
And on the Lilly facebook page, friends of Lilly are gushing about their orders, and backpedaling fast from yesterday's preppy protest.
Life goes on, pain and anger fade.
The dichotomy of life is always present, always there. Sometimes I wish I couldn't see it. Even more? I wish I didn't feel it so much.
Buck up my angels...I'm going to get back to my victim parade next. The doom-and-gloom is over for now. But do me a favor, will you? Say a little prayer or give a little extra thought to the souls of those babies, and to the untold other kids and moms out there who may find themselves in a similar situation. And if you want to say a prayer about Lilly getting bigger, faster servers, go for it. I won't judge.